Tag Archives: business

You Want More?!

24 Mar

Image result for sad healthcare stories

The Republicans in Congress are having difficulty passing their replacement healthcare bill for the Affordable Care Act. It seems that many Republicans find the new healthcare law to be too generous. House Speaker, Paul Ryan has even offered to make additional cuts to satisfy the Republican upstarts who won’t settle for less than an all out repeal of the ACA… You know, exactly what the American people want and have mandated by electing them.

Here is the list of the frivolous health benefits that health insurers are required to provide under the ACA that the Speaker has offered to have removed from the new bill:

• Ambulatory patient services (doctor’s visits) • Emergency services • Hospitalization            • Maternity and newborn care • Mental health and substance abuse disorder services,            • Prescription drugs • Rehabilitative services and devices • Laboratory services • Preventive and wellness services, and chronic disease management • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Wow! Who needs that stuff?…But still the watered down porridge of a bill could not receive enough votes from Republicans. Why, you may ask? It still left too many benefits intact! It wasn’t a repeal!

President Trump is demanding that this healthcare plan be passed by Congress tomorrow (at the latest) or else he’s done with healthcare and the nation can go scratch! (as in Beelzebub?) (As in “This is going to be the best healthcare plan ever! New and improved and cheaper! And now with better care!”… ???)

Anyway, what’s a political party to do with a nation that wants to visit their own doctor when they are sick??? And at these prices?! Have you seen what doctors charge nowadays? (Most Congressmen haven’t…but they’ve heard!) And it’s much too expensive for people who are…Non-Congressmen!

But Even with their proposed cuts the National Budget Office says that about 151 billion dollars will be shaved from the national deficit… in a budget that sees half a trillion dollars in payment to the National Debt!…every year! (Now that’s saving some real chump change)

And now we pause for a brief excerpt from Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens:

‘Please, sir, I want some more.’

The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

‘What!’ said the master at length, in a faint voice.

‘Please, sir,’ replied Oliver, ‘I want some more.’

The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.

The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,

‘Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!’

There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.

‘For MORE!’ said Mr. Limbkins. ‘Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?’

‘He did, sir,’ replied Bumble.

‘That boy will be hung,’ said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. ‘I know that boy will be hung.’

Nobody controverted the prophetic gentleman’s opinion. An animated discussion took place. Oliver was ordered into instant confinement; and a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a reward of five pounds to anybody who would take Oliver Twist off the hands of the parish. In other words, five pounds and Oliver Twist were offered to any man or woman who wanted an apprentice to any trade, business, or calling.

‘I never was more convinced of anything in my life,’ said the gentleman in the white waistcoat, as he knocked at the gate and read the bill next morning: ‘I never was more convinced of anything in my life, than I am that that boy will come to be hung.’

And so what will happen in tomorrow’s chapter of American Healthcare? As always, stay tuned! Perhaps with a promise of 5 bucks per person some other country will take our excess poor citizens off of our ruling class citizen’s hands? Doesn’t someone need an apprentice??? ( OK we’ll make it 400 dollars adjusted for inflation but that’s our final offer) We’ve got to be in Mar-a-Lago by Saturday morning!

 

Walton$ Mountain

14 May

Today on the internet I saw a list posted by Forbes Magazine of the 5 richest women in the United States. The top 2 were Christy Walton and Alice Walton of the Walton family and Wal-Mart fame. Christy’s brother-in laws (Alice’s brothers) Jim and S. Robson, are also quite wealthy and together they are numbers 6,7,8 and 9 on the top 10 list of the richest people in America. All together they have over 107 billion dollars between them.

Isn’t it amazing that a company whose employees are mostly poor and whose shoppers are mostly poor creates enough wealth to produce 4 of the 10 richest people in America?

In fact Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke’s (not a member of the family…too poor) earns about $20 million a year, or about 9,615 dollars an hour. Which when you think about it is only about 9,606 dollars more per hour than your average Wal-Mart employee who makes around $8.75 an hour and who would gross about $13,650 a year. So Mr. Duke earns about as much as 1,465 of his employees put together.

On the other hand, the 4 richest Walton’s earn more than 7.8 million of their employees put together…but that’s OK because Wal-Mart only employs about 1.5 million Americans…so there is still plenty of Wal-Mart work to be done. Yet just to be fair, that is a lot of employees and Wal-Mart does pay its taxes…but still…

There are many ways to make one’s fortune in this world, and building one on the backs of the poor is still the best way to make the biggest ones possible. And why is that? Because…

On an interesting and ironic side note, if you Google “The Waltons” you’ll see a list featuring the story of John-Boy and all of his favorite relatives who live with him in Walton’s Mountain, a fictitious television town in rural Virginia. If you watched this show then you learned about how a very large and extended family could  live happily together during the great depression in the United States even though they were poor and didn’t have much money… and yet they had a town and a mountain named after them….go figure.

But of course in America art imitates life almost every day…on television.

Arthur Shmarthur!

12 Feb

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I was switching channels this morning and happened upon the movie Arthur, staring Dudley Moore as a lovable drunken millionaire who lives in NYC. And the funny thing about the movie was that all of Arthur’s associates and relatives kept referring to themselves and each other as millionaires and I thought to myself, how quaint. They had millionaires back then who thought they were really rich! I mean really! By the end of the movie it was revealed that Arthur would inherit 750 million dollars and he and his fiancée and driver and apparently everyone else thought that was more money than a person could use. Can you imagine that?! Isn’t nostalgia so amusing?

But Back in 1981 when the movie was made there were only 12 billionaires in the USA and some 200,000 millionaires so Arthur really was among the elite persons of means. Today however, a mere 30 years later, we have 70 Billionaires in NY state alone and over 400 in the USA and over 5 million millionaires! I wonder what they do for a living because I know not one of them…do you?

Coincidentally, 1981 was also the year that saw the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan and the advent of “Reaganomics”  and it was President Reagan’s new way of looking at the economy and how to grow it and  it espoused lower taxes, deregulation, and entrepreneurism. And for the real “Arthur’s” of the United States it was just what the economic doctor ordered, but along with the rise of wealth in America, poverty  began to rise steadily again too  and today the nation’s poverty rate is 15.1%  with close to 50 million citizens living in poverty.

Today A minimum wage job of $7.25 an hour will bring you about $15,000 a year before taxes, placing you right in the middle of America’s poverty line. Imagine getting up every day and going to work, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year and coming home dirt poor in the year 2013…or perhaps you don’t have to imagine? I know a lot of these people and it just doesn’t seem fare that someone who works hard and who works every day, should still have to be considered poor and in need of financial help just to make the basic ends meet.

In fact since the 1980’s  the overwhelming majority of Americans have derived almost no benefit from the boom in stocks and real estate and 30 years of economic growth in the U.S. that Arthur and his ilk have enjoyed. In 1980, the average per capita income for  a middle class American was $45,879. Today, adjusted for inflation, that figure is $45,113… But for today’s Arthurs,  incomes have almost tripled since the 80s began and right now The 400 richest people in the U.S.  have the combined income of the bottom 150 million American citizens!

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